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Thread: Poison ivy!

  1. #21
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    When I had bad hives probably due to allergic reaction to penicillin, the doctor gave me a shot of epinephrine and most of the hives went away within half an hour. Good stuff!

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    Well, I'm calling the doctor's office when they open this morning. Still no improvement from yesterday (the only things that temporarily help are ibuprofen and ice) and it feels like it has spread a little more. Nothing applied topically works (creams, calamine, zanfel, rubbing alcohol, oatmeal baths, etc.) and I finished my prednisone this morning. So at this point, it looks like I'm having some kind of systemic reaction to poison ivy. That said, it's interesting that the prednisone doesn't work for me.

    I should add that some spots are improving. The big blister on my left hand is drying up and the left side of my face looks a lot better. It's just that new spots are appearing (fingers are nicely swollen on my left hand now, the right side of my face has more spots, and my right arm is a rashy mess. Not to mention I think I'm getting some on my legs and more on my left arm).

    If I can't get rid of the bumps before the wedding, fine. I don't even care at this point. I just want the itching and the pain to seize! I want to sleep at night!

  3. #23
    Reality TV's Bytch
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    You may have to get shots. I think those are stronger than the pills. I hope the doctor can figure something out.

  4. #24

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    thought - maybe you should get a second opinion, now wondering if you may have shingles.

  5. #25

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    Well, the doctor's office was NOT helpful. Simply called in a second prednisone RX and told me to follow up with a dermatologist. The 2 offices they recommended can't see me until December unless I get an expedited referral and then they can possibly fit me in before the end of the month. Not exactly helpful. What's bothering my most is my primary care physician seems to have the attitude that the oral prednisone will eventually work and isn't open to considering any other options--shots or even rx cream to help temporarily. Frustrating!

    I am going to the pharmacy to pick up more prednisone. I'm going to have the pharmacist take a look at it just to make sure it doesn't look/isn't more serious than it is. Several people have mentioned shingles and while it doesn't look like shingles, I'd like someone to confirm that it's not. So I'll start with the pharmacy.

  6. #26

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    Can you see an allergist? After all, it is an allergic reaction.
    "Me, cutie/chicken, the egg cup, I am the hammer of my spoon!"--Jen_Faith translation

  7. #27

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    Well, I managed to get an appointment with a dermatologist this afternoon. Let's hope some good comes from it (and my referral went through but that's another story completely).

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    Good luck!
    "Me, cutie/chicken, the egg cup, I am the hammer of my spoon!"--Jen_Faith translation

  9. #29

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    Thanks everyone.

    The dermatologist confirmed it's poison ivy so no need to worry about shingles. She went ahead and prescribed more prednisone and explained that the dosage that my primary care physician has prescribed wasn't correct. Essentially, with as wide spread as my poison ivy is, I need a higher dose for a longer period of time. So, she put me on prednisone for 20 days (60mg the first 5 days, 40 the next 5, 20 the next 5, and 10 the final 5). She also gave me an prescription for some topical cream and another for a prescription strength benadryl type drug to take at night. Unfortunately, somehow when they called in the RX, the missed the topical so I only have the 2 oral meds. Hopefully, the office will get my message and call in the topical before the end of the day.

    Anyway, all in all, it was a worthwhile visit. I was told to come back immediately if it gets worse or there is another outbreak. She did feel with the higher dose of prednisone and the topical (that I just need to get...), I'll be OK by the wedding. Let's hope.

  10. #30

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    Glad to hear this--at least you got to see someone who knew what they were doing and listened to you. How many days before the wedding? Hopefully the topical will bring down some of the blistering.
    "Me, cutie/chicken, the egg cup, I am the hammer of my spoon!"--Jen_Faith translation

  11. #31
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    I don't think the rash will be gone by the wedding, but itching should be gone by then with the higher dosage. Hopefully, you can get the topical soon. Good luck! Poison ivy sucks.

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tesla View Post
    I don't think the rash will be gone by the wedding, but itching should be gone by then with the higher dosage. Hopefully, you can get the topical soon. Good luck! Poison ivy sucks.
    I don't either (at least on my right arm), but I'm hopefully my face will be better. That's actually the part that has healed the most thus far. It's not super noticeable on my face even now so I can only hope. My left hand unfortunately and my right arm won't be so lucky. So I'll have some interesting scars on photos involving my left hand with the ring. Oh well. At least I'll have some interesting stories!

    Now, my bigger issue: will all the wonderful food still taste like metal come Sunday? Probably. I know a lot of people are super hungry on prednisone. My issue is everything tastes like metal so I don't want to eat anything!

    Feeling mentally better this evening. Thanks everyone!

  13. #33
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    Hope the meds are working and you are able to get some sleep! If I remember correctly - and it was several years ago - the topical medication comes with some pretty specific instructions and it's best to follow them to the letter.

    Have a wonderful, memorable (!) wedding, Sarah.

  14. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meredith View Post
    Hope the meds are working and you are able to get some sleep! If I remember correctly - and it was several years ago - the topical medication comes with some pretty specific instructions and it's best to follow them to the letter.

    Have a wonderful, memorable (!) wedding, Sarah.
    Thanks!

    The topical ointment doesn't actually say much beyond "apply a thin layer to the skin 2x daily" so that's more or less what I'm doing. In the mean time, I'm applying ice whenever the itching starts. Too bad it's freezing in my office today!

    Now if only all food didn't taste like metal...

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah View Post
    My left hand unfortunately and my right arm won't be so lucky. So I'll have some interesting scars on photos involving my left hand with the ring. Oh well. At least I'll have some interesting stories!
    I'm assuming the photos will be digital, so I bet they can photoshop any scars out of the pictures. Unless you just want them in there as a memory of what happened.

  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by NancyNC View Post
    I'm assuming the photos will be digital, so I bet they can photoshop any scars out of the pictures. Unless you just want them in there as a memory of what happened.
    Very true! Professional photos will be definitely be photoshopped. The others, well, we'll see.

    Still itchy but I know relief isn't instant. That said, it should be!

  17. #37
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    I am glad to hear you saw a dermatologist. I hope that the higher dose of prednisone and the new cream help.

    I used to work for a co. that did tree work, and I got alot of poison ivy rashes. Despite knowing what the plant looks like, the oil was on the equipment we used. I even got it once, when I touched a dried up ivy vine. So, I know how miserable that itch can be. When I took the prednisone, it made me itch more, but I have never tolerated meds well. Most people I know that got the rash, received a cortisone injection. I can't take those either. I have tried prescription creams, and they helped a bit. I used a clear calamyn lotion, and that helped dry it up some what. But, it did not make the rash go away any quicker. Most of the time, I found just letting the skin get alot of air helped. I had huge blisters all over my body, and clothes touching my skin made it worse. People that saw me, thought I had been badly burned.

    What you are going thru with the rash, is very typical. And it just needs time to dry up. Make sure you limit your time in the shower, and use luke warm water. Limit the amount of soap you use when you shower too. Never rub your skin, just pat gently with a towel. Keep in mind, if you do anything that makes you perspire, the itch will get much worse. Or if you use hot water on the skin, the rash will spread and that is not good. I do hope the new meds will help you sleep. Just use lightweight sheets and blankets. Don't wrap yourself up in a blanket, cause like I said if your skin gets warm the itch will get worse.

  18. #38
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    Would you have the same reaction to vodka as you have to rubbing alcohol? Might be worth a try.
    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Plato

  19. #39
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    I had a friend at work a few years ago who actually had to go through two rounds (tapering) of pred before her poison ivy went away. I don't know why. I'm sure you'll get some good advice here. I haven't had it since 10th grade ("a couple" of decades ago). I woke up on a Tuesday and couldn't see because my face was all swollen! My mom took me to the doctor right away. I had gotten poison ivy over Labor Day weekend at a picnic. I can even tell you - Shawnee Park in Portsmouth, Ohio (that's how traumatic it was). I had to start 10th grade on Wednesday in the new high school with 11th and 12th graders with a puffy face and pink stuff all over me!!!!! Gaaaa!!!!

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    OK. So I've accepted that the poison ivy won't be gone by the wedding (boo hoo) and I'm worried that the itching won't be gone either (it looks better in place, but I itch like crazy still). But, I need to start making other plans.

    What makeup do you all think would best cover poison ivy? I'm going to try and have my mom take me makeup shopping on Saturday so we can find something good to cover up the rash.

    New meds are making me feel wonky. It's mostly the RX benadryl type drug that I took last night (I can't for the life of me remember the drug name). I took 2 before bed as directed and woke up 2 hours later (if that) itchy. I ended up sleeping on the couch covered in ice packs and actually slept until 8am when the dogs started licking me in the face. Which would have been fine if I didn't typically leave for work at 8... Ooops. Anyway, I managed to get in to work just before 9am and have been feeling groggy ever since. I'm in a sleepy/groggy haze. I was planning to go ice skating at lunch before my lesson tonight, but it's not happening. I'll just be happy if I make it to the lesson!

    I don't think I'm having negative side effects from the prednisone though. I actually feel like I've lost weight this week (pants are feeling loose). That said, I could really use a nap now... I'm trying to figure out how I can manage that one...

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